General Titans vs Warriors trial


Well well well. Seems Moon and Fien got two 40/20 kicks each. Should shut some of the Moon haters up at least till round 1. Not bad for an 'average centre'. I was undecided on what I thought about his skills as I had never really seen him play a playmakers role except for a game or two at 7 for the Broncos. But 2 40/20's for a 20 year old is something special, could really save our ass somewhere down the track. We just need to work on goalkicking now.

Sunday 1 Mar 2009 00:08


The Vodafone Warriors produced one of the best trial performances in their history with an impressive seven-tries-to-two 34-12 victory over Gold Coast at Oakes Oval last night.

The victory completed a clean-sweep of wins in their three build-up matches ahead of the 2009 NRL season.

It followed a 24-12 triumph against Melbourne in Hamilton and a 32-28 win over North Queensland at North Harbour Stadium last Sunday.

The Vodafone Warriors were in exceptional mood in the first 52 minutes of tonight's contest, leading 30-0 after a six-try surge.

Only then - and as the Vodafone Warriors made numerous interchanges ? were the Titans able to make an impression with two tries to come back to 12-30.

But the Vodafone Warriors finished the match as they began it, getting the ball wide to their right side for new winger Denan Kemp to use his scorching speed to score his second try of the night.

Fullback Wade McKinnon also relished numerous opportunities with the ball with a double of his own, one try in each half.

Centre Brent Tate started the onslaught as early as the ninth minute when he stepped through the defence from close range as the Vodafone Warriors probed Gold Coast's short side.

And there were also second half tries for World Cup-winning Kiwi prop Sam Rapira as well as former Bronco Joel Moon on a night when the overall effort oozed precision and quality.

While the margin of the win and the style of it was satisfying for the coach staff, one feature of the display was positively stunning. That was the Vodafone Warriors' kicking game and especially the long kicking which produced an amazing four 40/20 kicks, two each to halfback Nathan Fien and standoff Moon. Three of those led directly to tries.

Executing 40/20 kicks has been a challenge for the Vodafone Warriors historically with just two successful efforts in the whole of their 2008 campaign and very few in previous seasons. The combination of a right-foot kicker in Fien and a left footer in Moon worked to perfection tonight.

Veteran halfback Stacey Jones was a late withdrawal from the match, sidelined as a precaution with a slight calf muscle injury.

The Vodafone Warriors now eye their season-opening first-round clash at home against Parramatta on March 14 knowing they have rounded off the most successful trials programme since the club entered the competition in 1995.

Match details:

At Oakes Oval, Lismore
Vodafone Warriors 34 (Denan Kemp 2, Wade McKinnon 2, Brent Tate, Sam Rapira, Joel Moon tries; Denan Kemp 2 conversions; Joel Moon conversion).
Gold Coast Titans 12 (Brad David, Shannon Walker tries; Chris Walker 2 conversions).
Halftime: 14-0 Vodafone Warriors.
Referees: Jared Maxwell and Adam Devcich.
Crowd: 5117.


Reality check as Warriors run riot

GOLD Coast's preparations for the NRL premiership copped a black eye after being thumped by a red-hot Warriors side last night in Lismore.

Just a week after flogging Cronulla 40-16 in Darwin, the Titans came crashing back to terra firma with a 34-12 defeat in their final hitout before the season proper.

The Coast were off the pace from the first minute in a seven-tries-to-two mauling that suggests the NRL's 16th team has some fine-tuning to do ahead of their Round 1 clash against Newcastle on Sunday week.

Conversely, the Warriors were slick, with former Broncos trio Denan Kemp, Brent Tate and Joel Moon contributing 22 of their side's 34 points.

The Titans were outstanding in last week's trial hammering of Cronulla, but were behind the eight ball from the opening minutes against the Warriors.

The Kiwi side opened the scoring in the 10th minute, and it was 8-0 inside 17 minutes thanks to the combination of Kemp and Moon.

Detecting space on the Titans' left flank, Moon produced a pinpoint chip kick for Kemp, who caught the ball on the fly to cross in the corner.

The Coast dominated the back end of the first half, with props Luke Bailey and Matt White particularly impressive in getting the Titans over the advantage line.

But despite several promising opportunities, the Titans failed to produce points as the Warriors defended with an intensity befitting a premiership fixture.

The Titans chances of a winning night suffered a bodyblow just seconds before the break. Warriors halfback Nathan Fien produced a superb 40-20 kick to secure possession and from the scrum win, Wade McKinnon crashed over to give his side a handy 14-0 halftime lead.

But if the Titans were hoping for better news after the break, they were in for a shock, with the Warriors stunning their rivals with three tries in the space of six minutes.

In the 45th minute, Warriors replacement Sam Rapira scored from close range, and it was 26-0 three minutes later when Moon powered over the top of some feeble Titans defence from a scrum win.

Nerves are rarely frayed in a pre-season trial, but Titans coach John Cartwright looked far from impressed when the Warriors crossed again in the 51st minute.

Exploiting an overlap on the Titans' left edge, winger Aidan Kirk raced 30 metres upfield before linking with McKinnon, who pushed off the Coast cover to score his second try.

Moon missed the attempted conversion, but the Titans were left to ponder the embarrassment of a 30-0 scoreline.

Facing a rout, the Titans took 59 minutes to register their first points of the night.

Halfback Brad Davis straightened the attack and sliced through from close range, with winger Chris Walker adding the extras to prove the Titans were at least still breathing.

WARRIORS 34 (McKinnon 2, Kemp 2, Tate, Rapira, Moon tries; Kemp 2, Moon goals) d TITANS 12 (Davis, Walker tries; Walker 2 goals) at Oakes Oval, Lismore. Crowd: 5156.



(Chris Walker?) I hope so, I've got him in all my fantasy league teams.

Shannon Walker was the most talked up player last year and didn't do anything. Too small for NRL and you need more than just speed to break an NRL defense.


Nah, Shannon. I had 2 points left to get my last person haha. And he was the only one of note.


I put Joseph Tomane in my Fox team, he was one of the cheapest centres and he'll be a starting centre for Storm. Future Kiwi.


Yeah, I already have him. I'm hoping they play Inglis at 6 so he will get a run.


How good was that try for McKinnon, where Joel Moon was pushing through and offloaded! Moon, albeit from highlights, is thoroughly impressing me. I'm high on anticipation with this guy, imagine if he chose the next three years to showcase all that potential he's said to have. This change in environment and the confidence to have an extended run at 6 may define his career.


They are showing the Storm v Warriors final on Sky Sport to get us in the mood for the season!


^yeah was gonna post about that 10.30 tonight ss1

def gonna watch on my bootleg sky


it`s actually been on since 8.30. don`t miss it, the second half has just started